How to Paint Lintels? – Easy Solution for Rusty Metal Lintels

Painting is frequently the best remedy for dealing with rusted metal lintels. It’s not just a cheap option; it’s also a reasonably simple one. However, adopting the proper strategy to achieve the best results when painting lintels is crucial.

To complete this task, use an oil-based rust-inhibiting primer and finish with the proper application of a premium paint of your choice.

This is why we created the how-to-paint lintels – an easy solution for rusted metal lintels. Here are detailed instructions on properly painting rusted metal lintels for a polished appearance. Therefore, if you’re searching for a quick and efficient way to deal with rusted metal lintels, your search is over.

How Do You Paint Lintels?

Painting lintels can be tricky, but with the right preparation and technique, you can get a beautiful finish with minimal effort. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started:

Step 1: Prepare Your Materials

You will need to have the following items on hand: paint of your choice, a paintbrush or roller, a drop cloth or plastic sheeting, painter’s tape, a paint tray or bucket, paint thinner (if using oil-based paint), and cleaning supplies such as water and soap. By having all of these items readily available, you can approach your painting task efficiently and professionally.

Step 2: Prepare the Area

Begin by clearing the surrounding area around the lintels. Eliminate any furniture or obstructions that may impede your painting process. Place a drop cloth or plastic sheeting on the floor or ground to safeguard against paint splatters.

Step 3: Clean the Lintel

Use a clean cloth or sponge that has been dipped in a solution of water and soap to clean the lintels. Ensure that you remove any dirt, dust, or debris from the surface. Allow the lintels to dry entirely before continuing with any further steps.

Step 4: Sand the Lintel

For lintels with chipping, flaking, or uneven paint or varnish, gently sand the surface with medium-grit sandpaper. This will result in a smoother and more consistent surface for the paint to adhere to. Removing any residual sanding debris with a clean cloth is vital after the sanding process.

Step 5: Apply a Primer

When painting on bare metal or addressing stained or discolored lintels that may seep through paint, it is recommended to apply a primer. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer to apply the primer and ensure it is fully dried before continuing with the painting process.

Step 6: Apply Painter’s Tape

In order to prevent unintended paint splatters on adjacent surfaces such as walls or windows, it is recommended to use painter’s tape. Take care when applying the tape to ensure strong adhesion to the surfaces and a clean separation line between lintels and other areas.

Step 7: Paint the Lintel

To begin painting the lintels, apply smooth and even strokes. If using a paintbrush, ensure the paint is applied consistently, either left to right or top to bottom. If a roller is used, apply the paint in a “W” or “M” pattern to ensure complete coverage.

Step 8: Apply a Topcoat

Apply a topcoat for added protection and a glossy finish. It is the final step in painting a lintel and is an additional barrier against the elements. When applying a topcoat, spread an even product layer onto the lintel with a brush or roller.

This will give the lintel a glossy finish and help the paint job last for years. Allow the topcoat to dry completely before returning the lintel to its original position.

Step 9: Clean Up

Upon completion of the lintel painting, it is essential to adhere to the paint manufacturer’s guidelines when cleaning your brushes or rollers. In the event of water-based paint usage, cleaning the tools with soap and water is appropriate. However, paint thinner may be necessary for the clean-up process when using oil-based paint.

Step 10: Remove the Painter’s Tape

Wait until the paint has fully dried before removing the painter’s tape. Gently and cautiously remove the tape at a 45-degree angle to ensure a crisp and precise edge.

What to Consider When Choosing the Paint for Metal Lintels?

When decorating your home, metal lintels can be one of the most essential details. They are designed to support your windows and doors, so choosing the right paint for metal lintels is essential to ensure they are adequately protected from the elements. Here, we will discuss the factors you should consider when choosing the best paint for metal lintels.


The paint’s durability should be considered before anything else when selecting it for metal lintels. Ensure the paint can withstand the elements and any wear and tear that may develop over time. Look for paints specially made for metal surfaces that offer a durable finish.

UV Protection

Exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays can cause metal surfaces to corrode and rust over time, so choosing paint with UV protection is important. Look for paints that contain special additives that will help protect the metal from the sun’s rays.

Ease of Application

When choosing the paint for metal lintels, you should also consider the ease of application. Look for paints that are easy to apply and require minimal preparation. Some paints may require a primer before they can be applied, so it is important to read the label to ensure you use the correct paint for the job.


For metal lintels, you should also consider the paint’s color. Take the time to find a paint that will complement the other colors in your home to ensure that the color matches the rest of the decor. By reading the label, make sure the paint you choose is appropriate for metal surfaces.

Paint Type

There are typically two categories of paint that are appropriate for metal lintels, namely oil-based and water-based (latex) paints. While oil-based paints provide exceptional durability and moisture resistance, they may necessitate lengthier drying periods and additional cleaning with paint thinner.
On the other hand, water-based paints are simpler to clean with soap and water, dry quickly, and have a minimal odor. When selecting between these two varieties, it is critical to consider your preferences, as well as the specific demands of the project.

Brand & Quality

Select paints from well-established brands recognized for their superior quality and longevity. Conduct thorough research on customer feedback and ratings to understand the efficacy and performance of various paint brands. Although high-quality paints may come at a premium price, their superior coverage, durability, and overall satisfaction are often worth the investment.

Best Paint for Lintels

When painting lintels, it is crucial to choose the right paint to ensure a quality finish that will last. The type of paint used will depend on the material of the lintel, whether it is stone, brick, or metal. Choosing a paint that is weather-resistant and can withstand exposure to UV rays, rain, snow, and other environmental factors is  advisable. Property owners can ensure that their building’s structure remains solid and secure for years to come by selecting the correct type of paint for lintels.

Stone Lintels

When it comes to painting stone lintels, it is advisable to choose a masonry paint that is specifically designed for exterior use. It is best to opt for a paint that is specifically formulated to bond to porous surfaces such as stone while offering durability and resistance to weathering.

Brick Lintels

When painting brick lintels, use either latex or oil-based masonry paint. Both options are suitable for exterior use and will ensure a durable finish on brick surfaces. It is advisable to consider the specific features of each type, such as drying time and application technique, to determine the optimal fit for your project.

Metal Lintels

When it comes to metal lintels, it is crucial to utilize paint specifically intended for metallic surfaces. Seek out anti-corrosive paint that is formulated for outdoor use on metals. These paints typically comprise inhibitors that prevent rust and corrosion, providing protection and longevity for the metal lintels. It is advisable to consider the type of metal and select a compatible paint, such as a paint formulated for steel or aluminum.

Can the same painting technique be applied to both metal lintels and butcher block countertops?

Yes, the same painting technique can be applied to both metal lintels and butcher block countertops. When painting butcher block countertops, make sure to sand and prime the surface beforehand. For metal lintels, use a rust-inhibiting primer and a high-quality metal paint for a long-lasting finish.

What Is the Best Tool for Sanding Lintels?

If you’re looking to sand lintels, an angle grinder equipped with a sanding disc is a helpful tool. An angle grinder is a handheld power tool with a rotating disc and a motor that spins the disc at high speeds. 

The sanding disc is typically made of abrasive materials, such as aluminum oxide or silicon carbide, that can remove surface material quickly and efficiently. When using an angle grinder for sanding lintels, it’s essential to wear protective gear, such as safety goggles and a dust mask, to protect yourself from the dust and debris produced during the sanding process.

Another tool that can be useful for sanding lintels is a palm sander. A palm sander is a handheld power tool that uses a vibrating motion to sand surfaces. It typically features a square or rectangular sanding pad that can be attached to the tool with adhesive or a hook-and-loop system. When using a palm sander for lintel sanding, it’s important to use the correct grit sandpaper. 

Coarse grit sandpaper, such as 60 or 80 grit, can be used to remove surface material quickly, while finer grit sandpaper, such as 120 or 150 grit, can be used to smooth out the surface and remove any remaining rough spots.

When choosing the best tool for sanding lintels, it is crucial to consider the size and shape of the lintel and the type of material it is made from. For larger lintels or those made from harder materials, an angle grinder may be the better option, as it can remove material quickly and effectively. A palm sander may be a more appropriate tool for smaller lintels or those made from softer materials, as it can provide a finer and more precise finish.

Ultimately, the best tool for sanding lintels will depend on the specific needs of the job, as well as the preferences and experience of the user. 

Painting Rusted Lintels 


The right equipment and methods can be used to paint lintels. The quality of the work will depend on the type of paint you use on it, so it is crucial to know what it is.

The lintel must be sanded before painting to get a smooth, even finish. Anyone can complete their lintel painting project with professional results if they have the proper equipment and materials and a thorough understanding of the required procedures.

Preparation is essential for any painting project, but extra care must be taken with a lintel to ensure that each coat is applied correctly. It will look great for many years if careful preparation and painting are done.

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